The Bible plan I've been following has had me in the Old Testament quite a bit lately and I've been pondering the treatment of prophets. Have you ever considered these men of God and what they had to endure for speaking the truth of the Lord?
Mocked...Had to be hidden in caves...Destroyed...Killed with the sword...Married harlots...Endured horrible physical conditions...Beaten...Stoned...CRUCIFIED
One definition of prophecy is "a divinely inspired utterance". The prophets of old were visited by God and chosen by Him to warn the Israelites and others. While we do not receive God's instructions in the same manner today, we certainly do receive God's instructions on truth through His word. God's word is truth and it applies to us today just as God's spoken word applied to those the prophets warned thousands of years ago. As we speak forth God's word, we are speaking a divinely inspired utterance.
Here's what I know as real in our world today: prophets will be rejected. As sophisticated as we think we are, we are not much different from those ancient people. Those who speak the truth will be rejected. Are you speaking God's word to others? You will be rejected.
What concerns me today is our focus on how God's word must be spoken. If our Facebook post is a little ouchy, well, then, let's just disregard that spirit of criticism. Or if our blog post seems a bit brash, then we must not listen to that author any more. He, or she, just doesn't get it...isn't loving...isn't relevant...doesn't understand how to relate to people.
Wow. Can you imagine Isaiah changing his message, Hosea holding back, Jeremiah refusing to speak the hard words, the truthful words, of the Lord just because others were crying out "You're not loving, you don't get us!"
But, here's the kicker. I'm not even talking about those who are practicing the sin...I'm talking about those in the church. Those who know the word of the Lord. Those who know truth. They--we--are siding with the ones in a lifestyle of sin because we don't like the way the truth is being presented.
Christians, this is ridiculous.
Understand this is a scheme of the enemy. Because if the evil one can convince us that we must present God's truth--the absolute truth--in such a refined and attractive way, then eventually we will just shut up because God's truth is very offensive to someone loving their sin. As we speak the Truth, we will be rejected and despised--no matter how pretty we present it.
So, honestly? Be honest. Stop trying to be so sophisticated and nuanced. How refreshing to see a man just be brave and bold and be used as a vessel by God to bring people to a knowledge of their deep deep sin and their even deeper need for His Son, Jesus!
Speak the truth from the word of God, be upfront and honest, love people so much that you're willing to please God and not man! And may many souls see their grave sin and be granted repentance.